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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Garfield Green Line Station Redesign Honored By State’s Top Architecture Organization

The American Institute of Architects Illinois said the $43 million renovation of the Garfield station created a “joyful, celebratory arrival to the Washington Park neighborhood.”

The Garfield Green Line station in Washington Park on January 28, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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WASHINGTON PARK — The CTA received Illinois’ highest architecture award for its renovation of the city’s oldest train stop.

The Garfield “L” Gateway station won the American Institute of Architects Illinois’ Greatest Impact Award for creating a welcoming design to the Washington Park community on the South Side, according to a CTA news release.

This distinction is the third major architectural award for the Garfield station overhaul. Last year, the CTA also won the AIA’s Chicago Distinguished Building Award and Interior Architecture Award.    

“The uplifting effects of public artwork are woven into the architecture, giving riders a unique and playful, integrated and immersive experience for their everyday commute,” the organization said in a statement. “Garfield Gateway is beautiful and durable, an understanding of how public architecture, high-use infrastructure and art can coexist as one.”

Credit: Patrick Pyszka
Construction for the new Garfield Station began in late spring of 2018 and was completed by January 2019.

Completed in 2019, the CTA’s Green Gateway Project was a $43 million renovation of the station. The work included a pair of platform canopies that provided more shelter, an upgraded platform with better accessibility, improved elevators and escalators.

The transformed station also includes public art by acclaimed Chicago artist Nick Cave. His designs are incorporated into key architectural components of the station, such as the glass windbreaks, exterior columns and masonic ceiling.

The original house station opened in 1892, just in time to welcome visitors to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The city designated the rail station a historic landmark in 2001, and it now serves as a community-based arts facility.

“We are very pleased that architects, artists and the more than 475,000 daily transit riders, bicyclists, pedestrians and the surrounding community appreciate the work and vision that went into transforming a rather ordinary station into an exhilarating, enjoyable customer experience,” CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said in a statement.

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